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Moderation

(612 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] In pre-Socratic times (Pre-Socratics) the notion of moderation was relevant among, for example, the Pythagoreans, for whom the harmony of the cosmos resulted from numbers as the elements of all things (DK 58 B 4). A significant departure from such conceptions of order (Order: I), which were generally predominant in Greek culture (e.g. in Solon's legislation), was that of the Sophistic school, which placed moderation in an individual perspective and thereby elevated unrestrained heightening to an ideal, as for instance in the context of desire (Plato Gorg. 492d–e). …

Perspectivism

(457 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] The notion of a view from different “perspectives” (standpoints, points of view) that can affect cognition (Epistemology) was already being used systematically in antiquity. Plato justifies the primacy of reason over pleasure on the grounds that a sense of wellbeing is only a reduction of pain to a neutral state and not true pleasure. Reason, on the contrary, or the pleasure that follows it, precludes any deceptive outward appearance. Through comparison with the proportions of per…

Ritter, Joachim

(161 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Apr 3, 1903, Geesthacht – Aug 3, 1974, Münster), gained his doctorate in Hamburg under E. Cassirer in 1925; from 1946 he was professor of philosophy in Münster. Ritter’s starting-point was the experience of the modern, which for him was characterized by the liberation of subjectivity. This required re-attachment to an earlier, historically given institutional framework, in order to assure its moral claims. With this insight Ritter became a renewer of practical philosophy, which draws on Aristotle in reflecting on the preconditions of effective action, for ¶ example…

Sartre, Jean-Paul

(651 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Jun 21, 1905, Paris – Apr 15, 1980, Paris), studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and taught at lycées in Le Havre, Laon, and Paris. He was a prisoner of war in Germany in 1940/1941, then joined the French resistance. After 1945 he edited the journal Les temps modernes. After World War II, Sartre became one of the most influential intellectuals of his age. He actively opposed the wars in Algeria (1958–1962) and Vietnam (1968) and supported the student movement. From 1952 until the Hungarian uprising in 1956, …

Neo-Kantianism

(1,580 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] I. History The term Neo-Kantianism refers to a philosophical orientation that attained its standard form in the years 1870 to 1920 and held a prominent position within German academic philosophy during this time. It was divided into two groups, the so-called Marburg school and the Southwest German school. This standard or classic Neo-Kantianism had been preceded by a widespread reorientation to I. Kant from the mid-19th century onward. It received its programmatic formulation in Otto Liebmann’s publication Kant und die Epigonen (1865). This was accompanied by…

Ortega y Gasset, José

(261 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (May 9, 1883, Madrid – Oct 18, 1955, Madrid), studied in Madrid, where he was appointed professor of metaphysics in 1910. Study trips brought him to Germany from 1904 to 1907, including Marburg, where he came under the influence of Neo-Kantianism. To escape the civil war, he left Spain in 1936 and did not return permanently until 1948. His wide-ranging work was devoted to topics of philosophy, art, and politics; he always dealt with culture in its totality. He combined the insight…

Lotze, Rudolf Hermann

(389 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (May 21, 1817, Bautzen – Jul 1, 1881, Berlin). After receiving degrees in medicine and philosophy, Lotze was appointed professor in Göttingen in 1844. His significance in the history of philosophy is twofold. He released philosophy from speculative Idealism by contrasting the realism of the natural sciences. He was also the author of an epistemology that was not naturalistically reducible, such as would be developed by Neo-Kantianism in the person of Lotze's student W. Windelband …

Wind

(279 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] Among the numerous meteorological phenomena (Weather), the wind occupies a prominent place. In many religions, its insubstantiality as well as its lack of association with any particular place together with its varying intensity and unpredictability have made the wind take on a personal quality. Besides the important function of the wind in moving the rain clouds necessary for vegetation, it plays a critical role among seafaring peoples, as it propels or capsizes ships, making the sea navigable or dangerous. According to the Iliad and Odyssey, the Greeks had seve…

Foucault, Michel

(195 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Oct 15, 1926, Paris – Jun 25, 1984, Paris). Foucault studied philosophy and psychology, earning his doctorate in 1961. From 1969 he was a professor at the Collège de France. Foucault developed reconstructive methods for analyzing the connection between knowledge and power, in part drawing from F. Nietzsche's understanding of genealogy. Proceeding in a structuralist and historical fashion, he demonstrated how modern sciences and institutions are constituted through systematic excl…

Nothing

(1,157 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] In philosophical discussion of nothingness (Ger. das Nichts), one may distinguish logical and metaphysical approaches. On the level of logic various meanings of speaking about nothingness are traditionally discussed. Thus, for example, I. Kant distinguishes four possible meanings. First, nothingness as ens rationis, i.e. as a mere “thought thing” in the sense of a con-¶ cept free from contradiction; second, nothingness as ens imaginarium, i.e. a mere play of ideas; third, nothingness as nihil privativum, i.e. as a negation or lack; fourth, nothingness as nihil ne…

Jaspers, Karl

(806 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Feb 23, 1883, Oldenburg – Feb 26, 1969, Basel). Following his medical studies, Jaspers worked in the University of Heidelberg's psychiatric clinic. He completed his Habilitation in 1913, also in Heidelberg, at the philosophical faculty in the discipline of psychology; he became associate professor of psychology in 1916 and professor of philosophy in 1921. In 1937, he was forced into retirement and forbidden to publish after 1938. In 1945, he resumed his teaching responsibilities …

Natorp, Paul

(756 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Jan 24, 1854, Düsseldorf – Aug 17, 1924, Marburg). Natorp grew up in a Protestant parsonage. After receiving his doctorate, he was drawn to Marburg to hear H. Cohen’s interpretation of I. Kant. At Marburg he completed his Habilitation in 1881 with a study of R. Descartes; he was appointed professor in 1885. He and Cohen founded the so-called Marburg school, and he became one of the major exponents of Neo-Kantianism. For Natorp philosophy was in the first instance epistemology. He followed Cohen in resolving the Kantian dualism of reason and intuitio…

Lange

(354 words)

Author(s): Wennemuth, Heike | Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] 1. Johann Peter (Apr 10, 1802, Sonnborn, near Elberfeld – Jul 8, 1884, Bonn). After studying theology at Bonn from 1822 to 1825, Lange became a Reformed pastor. In 1841 he was appointed professor of dogmatics and church history at Zürich (where he wrote an attack on D. Strauß). From 1854 to 1884 he was professor of systematic theology in Bonn. Lange wrote fundamental works in every theological discipline, including Das Leben Jesu nach den Evangelien dargestellt (3 vols., 1844–1847; ET: The Life of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1864), and was active in the life of the churc…

Intellect

(1,610 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael | Korsch, Dietrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics I. Philosophy In the traditional doctrine of cognition (Epistemology), the intellect is primarily viewed as an intuitive capacity (Gk νοῦς/ nous, Lat. intellectus), partly in demarcation from reason as a discursive capacity. The intellect enables a person to attain direct insight into last principles or simple facts, so that the process of cognition is brought to a close logically and rationally (Arist. Eth. Nic. 1143af.). This dimension of grasping the truth…

Maxim

(511 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy The term originated in the expression propositio maxima, the designation of the major premise in a syllogism. It can denote an axiom or a practical principle. It attained relevance in I. Kant's moral philosophy. Kant describes any subjective motivation to initiate an action as a maxim, in contrast to the objectively valid, general law (Law and legislation). The categorical imperative requires that only those maxims be allowed which can also count as laws ( Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, Akademieausgabe, vol. IV, 4…

Blessedness

(3,118 words)

Author(s): Horyna, Břetislav | Steinmann, Michael | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. History of Dogma – IV. Ethics I. Religious Studies Blessedness is the goal of eudaemonist ethics (Eudaemonia; Eudaemonism) oriented toward well-being and a successful life, toward the optimal condition of an individual; earlier usage often referred to this condition as “happiness, bliss” (Happiness: I), the direct religious implication of this …

Happiness/Bliss

(2,967 words)

Author(s): Gilhus, Ingvild Sælid | Steinmann, Michael | Sarot, Marcel | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Religion – II. Philosophy – III. History of Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Religion Talk of happiness refers to a deeper level of experience than enjoying oneself or feeling good. Happiness denotes success in life; the pursuit of happiness is a universal element in human life and thought. The hope of happiness may take ritual forms, especially in connection with rites of passage when a change of social position and status makes life uncertain, for instance at birth and weddings. The…

Transcendence and Immanence

(3,184 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels Henrik | Figl, Johann | Steinmann, Michael | Danz, Christian
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences The natural sciences themselves do not work with a concept of transcendence as the opposite of nature. They consider “nature” or the “cosmos” (Cosmology) the totality of reality. 1. Nevertheless the natural sciences are based on a finitized epistemology. Kurt Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem of 1931 demonstrated that it is impossible in principle to prove within a formal system both the system’s internal consistency and its completeness. There are also physical limits to what can be know…

Effective History/Reception History

(5,400 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael | Schüle, Andreas | Rösel, Martin | Luz, Ulrich | Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Applications I. Philosophy The concept of effective history ( Wirkungsgeschichte) takes on philosophical significance in the hermeneutics of H.G. Gadamer, where it represents the attempt to clarify the fundamental requirement for understanding texts and make this understanding transparent in its own historically conditioned context. …

Love

(8,725 words)

Author(s): Prohl, Inken | Morgen, Michèle | Stock, Konrad | Steinmann, Michael | Herms, Eilert | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Judaism I. History of Religion The concept of love describes a relationship of affection, tenderness, or devotion between human beings and between humans and God (Love of/for God) or the gods. The Old Testament speaks of the love of God for humanity; in Judaism, the commandment of obedience to God is followed by the commandment to love God (Deut 6:5) and one's fe…